The European Union Monitoring Mission, whose 225 monitors have been in Georgia since 1 October, to patrol the so-called buffer zones around the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, is keeping a close eye on the situation around Perevi.
A mission spokesman noted that the presence of the [South Ossetian] militia was a violation of Georgian sovereignty. He said he feared an escalation of tension.
The EU wants its observers to have access to the breakaway regions, but Russia has repeatedly refused to guarantee that.
Western leaders have condemned the presence of Russian troops in Georgian areas – both in the buffer zones, where Russian troops were present until mid-October, and in the breakaway regions themselves, where Russia is maintaining nearly 8,000 troops.
They have also condemned Russia’s recognition of the two regions as independent states.